Let's Digress

My Trip to the Gym

Note: For my protection, the names of people and places have been altered and/or changed to help prevent those people from beating me up.


For those of you who don’t know, my brother, Jarrod is a personal trainer. Yes, the same Jarrod mentioned in this blog. What does a personal trainer do? Well, from my observation, people hire him to help them exercise. And this isn’t that hoity-toity Pilates/P90x/Tae-Bow crap. This is like weightlifting and cardio and dieting and stuff. Oh, and right when you think you’re done, there’s even more weights!  It still boggles my mind that he genuinely enjoys it and that he’s actually very good at it. All this talk about working out is making me sleepy. But don’t fret, I will continue after my mid-afternoon nap.

Just kidding. I didn’t actually nap. That’s later today.

Anyway, contrary to popular rumor, I actually do have a gym membership. It’s not at the same gym that Trainer Jarrod goes to though, mine has a 24 hour shower available, which is 90% of the reason why I joined. You don’t get a chiseled, athletically built body like mine from sitting around reading books and eating dark chocolate all day. I know that for a fact, I tried the “sit around and eat dark chocolate all day” thing and it didn’t work. It didn’t work at all. Watching Netflix while sitting around didn’t help either. However, it did make the time go by much quicker.

When it comes to the gym world, I would consider myself an expert amateur. I know enough to look somewhat competent while walking through the doors with my moderately-sized gym bag, and I know enough to thoroughly break myself in a heartbeat while doing cardio. (I can easily break myself doing anything, but saying cardio went better with the heartbeat pun) *ba da tss*

Last night after the intubation conversation, Jarrod suggested that him and I go to the gym today. Together. Usually, I try to avoid going to the gym with my brother. I don’t avoid it because we don’t get along or because he eats at Taco Bell or because he’s getting married before I do (yeah, before me, the older very single brother), I avoid it because I’m always sore after we’re done. Every time. And because his workouts last what feels like 4 hours and mine go for all of 90 minutes. But for whatever reason, I said yes last night. So we went to the gym today…and here’s how it went:


We arrive at the gym. It’s freezing outside, it’s snowing and everything. And here I am, wearing a hoodie and basketball shorts. Jarrod looks at me and reminds me that I probably should have worn long pants. Ok, that was my bad. I didn’t realize it was that cold when I walked out of the house.

Once inside the gym, it’s pretty much empty. The only people inside are Schelbi, Jarrods fiancee person, and Dane, who happens to be one of Jarrod’s BFF’s. We walk in, Jarrod says hi, and then they all looked surprised to see me. Adam going into a gym, that gym specifically, is a kind of rare occurrence for some reason. So we say hi and whatnot just as Schelbi is leaving to do whatever it is Schelbi does. Trainer Jarrod chugs down a preworkout. From what Trainer Jarrod says, a pre-workout is something you drink before you exercise because it’s supposed to give you energy and to make you healthier or something. While he’s slamming down this preworkout, I talk to Dane about random stuff. Dane is on the exercise bike, looking like a younger, more manly Lance Armstrong with glasses. Suddenly, I see this stair stepper machine thing. It’s literally a small set of stairs that rotates as you walk on it. I eagerly jump on and start running up these rotating stationary stairs. I hear Jarrod yell from behind me in his trainer voice, “Adam! What are you doing? You’re gonna get tired before we even start the workout!” Well…He might’ve been a little right. I was a little winded when I got off 3 minutes later and asked if I could lay down and take a pre-workout nap. He said no.

We head over to the dumbbells and the weights stuff. Trainer Jarrod grabs this huge dumbbell and starts spinning it and lifting it over his head and says to me, “you need to grab one, too. You need to warm up or you’ll break yourself.” So I grabbed a big one too. Ok, it was a slightly smaller one. Alright, alright, fine. It was a lot smaller. Goodness. The big one got heavy and I was tired from my preworkout stairstepping distraction. We warm up for a while, he’s acting like a kid on Christmas morning and I’m wishing that I had had finished writing my obituary before we left.

After that, a lot of it was a blur. A big, sweaty, muscle twitching blur.

Trainer Jarrod starts off our actual workout by doing this tricep extension thingy mixed with another exercise that I can’t even begin to describe. He called the two exercises together a “super set.” We did like…4 different types of super sets. Which would be like, 8 different exercises. We were there for 5 hours! Ok, it was more like 2. But it felt like 5. I’m about ready to die halfway through the workout, so naturally I politely whine at Trainer Jarrod and say, “are we done yet? We’ve been here for like 6 hours!” Apparently, that question gets old when you ask it every other set. Trainer Jarrod looks at me, stares me straight in the eye, giggles, says “no, we’re just getting warmed up”, and goes back to his set. That was at about the same time when I laid down on the bench press pad to “adsorb some energy.” My brother called it napping-when-I-should-be-exercising, but it was definitely more along the lines of energy adsorbing. Fo Sho.

We do more sets, reps, super sets, and other things that I can’t even attempt to describe. And it all revolved around arms, today was arm day. Biceps, triceps, and forearms. Luckily, my hands aren’t that sore yet, otherwise this would be much more difficult to type.

As we’re getting our healthy living on, more people begin to trickle in. Some of these dudes are absolutely huge! I thought Trainer Jarrod was sizable, but no. These guys could bench press him and a bus into the ceiling. They made him look Yoda-sized. It was quite funny, although they didn’t seem to find it as funny as I did when I told them. Oops. That was when I discovered that even gyms can have awkward stares and silence. That’s also when Trainer Jarrod said “Oh yeah, this is my older brother, Adam. He’s not from the gym world.” And then I was like “your kind is so weird..” as I made the Spock sign with my hand. I thought that was funny, but apparently they’ve never seen Lord of the Rings and don’t get the Spock hand sign thing. And then Schelbi came back to the gym! Why she came back, I don’t know. But she did. And then she started doing her own workout thing. Then Trainer Jarrod got kina distracted and started saying things like “Shelbi and I exercise together. Do you know why, Adam? Because a couple that lifts together, stays alive forever! Well…they stay alive longer than the average couple anyway.” Then we went back to our arm workout stuff. We were doing this exercise called a “skull crusher,” and my arms got tired and decided to stop working in the middle of a rep. Had Trainer Jarrods excessively strong arms and grip not been holding onto the bar, it would’ve literally crushed my skull. Maybe I should’ve done those first… Moving on.

Finally, after hours and hours and hours of lifting somewhat mildly heavy things, Trainer Jarrod says “ok, we’re done. Now go stretch and drink your protein.” Well, I had kind of left all of my protein at home. And there just happens to be a smoothie protein bar thing at this gym, so Trainer Jarrod made a protein shake for me. It wasn’t terrible tasting either! Which is good, because I have some slight food issues. Texture and stuff.. blah. He pulled a fast one on me though; he put a banana in the shake. I don’t like bananas. Oh, and he told me that I need to drink the whole thing. Schelbi came up at just the right time and asked (told) me that I didn’t stretch yet, and said that I had to right then. She said it was something about muscles and tendons relaxing and whatnot.. I don’t know. But we stretched and I discovered that I’m not as flexible as I used to be. It made me feel kind of old. I mean, I am old, but I’m not that old. We also did this stretch where we like..squatted while leaning forward.. It was strange and it felt kind of like twerking… I’m also pretty sure I mooned my brother with my pants on while doing the stretch. He said “Nice, Adam. I didn’t need to see that..” So I replied with a simple wave and a “You’re welcome!” I hope it was an actual stretch. If not, it would be kind of embarrassing. But I think I’ll avoid that stretch next time. It’s probably best for everyone.

We finished the stretching thing, and then I finally finished the bottomless cup of protein shake. Stupid banana. He just had to put one in there… I told Trainer Jarrod that I would’ve been happy with a normal milkshake, but he was very adamant about it not being nearly as healthy as that protein shake. Whatever. Trainer Jarrod also said that my awesomely high metabolism won’t be an acceptable excuse for my questionable eating habits when I’m 40.

And then we left. It turns out that we were only there for about 2 hours, not the 6 that I had thought it was during the workout. I can also barley lift my arms above my head now, which is why my Chromebook is on my lap and not above my head. Not that I usually type with it above my head or anything, but I’m just now appreciating being able to have it on my lap. I will definitely have to go back though. Maybe this whole having-a-brother-who-is-a-personal-trainer thing will help me healthily pack on 30 more pounds.

I think I’m going to take a break and continue reading my book now. It’s called Humility: An Unlikely Biography of America’s Greatest Virtue.

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